All Major Scales by Fingering Groups

TUESDAY, September 24, 2019

(In the PDF, the scales talked about here are on pages 1 through 4.The major scales fall into three distinct categories. Following the major scales I notated the problem minor scales, the ones that change fingerings.)

View or Download
Major Scales in all Keys

There are 12 altogether. 10 of the 12 fall into only two groups, with the remaining two being unique in that the thumbs never play together at the same time in both hands.

The first group is the easiest to learn and consists of: Db major, Gb major, B major and F major. I call them “Thumbs Together Scales”.
I’ve added a legend. The black 3 is for what I call “cat’s paws”, which happen on the scales with all the black notes. Black two is for V fingers, where the fingers play the pair of black keys. The yin-yang symbol is for the cat’s paw idea as it transitions to two of three white keys in the F scale.

The second group contains six scales – C major, D major, E major, G major, Ab major and A major. In this group the thumbs come together once in each octave, The other time the thumb in one hand always comes with 2 in the other. I used an up and down arrow to show where this happens. Because the thumb and index fingers are opposite each other once per octave, I call these the “Oppose Scales”. Finger 3 is always together with finger 3.  Finger 4 is always together with finger 2. Both times when 4 is with 2 it is directly before or after the thumbs meet. I used a symbol that has four little black squares for this. The group is much more difficult than the “Thumbs Together Scales”.

Finally, there are the Eb and Bb scales, each of which is unique in the major scales. I call these “Odd Ball Scales” or “Odd Balls”. These are monsters and need to be played daily because each is unique.

In the Eb major scale the thumb of one hand always comes with the finger 2 of the other. I call this “Double Oppose”. Both hands play 3 on the Eb. Fingers 3 and 4 also oppose each other, so in a way this is a “Triple Oppose Scale”.

In the Bb scale thumb of one hand there is an “oppose” combination with 1 and 2, but there is also a “triple group” situation where 1, 2 and 3 are moving in opposition.There is no other major scale with this grouping – this is also the only scale in which 2 plays with 2.

 

0

2 thoughts on “All Major Scales by Fingering Groups

    1. Scales are hugely important, so the trick is finding out a way to learn them without spending hours and hours and hours going over them. You can’t build chords without knowing scales, and you can’t fully understand scales without knowing chords. They are two sides of the same thing.

      0

Leave a Reply